Recent Comments

Last Days Christian Messenger

This Is My Other Blog. Geared Towards Helping The Unsaved Find God

Click this link HOMEPAGE for the latest articles on this blog
Click this link MENU LIST to find an entire list of ALL Articles within this blog (as at 30 Nov 2011)
Click this link Articles Carrying Most Comments as at 30 November 2011 a league table of articles carrying the most comments.

Search this blog by entering KEY WORDS In box below

Monday, 1 February 2010

Are Our Experiences More Important In Our Christian Faith Than knowing Him through His Word?

Based on conversations I have had, I had a real burden that I needed to respond to what was said. In fact it is such an important matter I felt I needed to share it with you all. It was said: "your faith is all knowledge, but no power (ie no experiences)"

I am not against experiences and do emphasise that certain experiences are necessary to follow Jesus. I in fact have had wonderful experiences of God, but we need to get things the right way round!

If we focus too much on our experiences, we tend to build our theology, interpretation of scripture on those experiences and have tendency to make the Word Of God say what "WE think" because of our experiences. The experience becomes the guideline to interpreting scripture which means we are already prejudiced before we even check the Bible. This usually leads us to ignore scripture verses which oppose our experiences and instead only follow the verses (many times out of context) we think back-up our experience. This is selective reading and making the bible say what we want it to say, ie we make God after our own image rather than be changed into His image. The scripture says:

"as high as the heavens are above the earth, so are God's thoughts above ours and His ways above ours".

In other words we cannot depend upon what we think to be true but upon what GOD SAYS as true. Paul does talk about his experiences in 2 Cor 11 and 12 but calls it a pointless exercise as the truth is more important than his experiences. He only discusses his experiences to convince the Corinthian church that they should trust what he says. Note: they were basing their trust in the false apostles because of their experiences  so Paul told them that he also had experiences but not to base their trust in their leaders experiences (eg miracle working) but because the message was based on the truth.

Jesus said we should follow His teachings and be obedient to the teachings, so that we would know the truth and the truth would set you free . John 8:31-32.  Experience of God (being set free) follows truth.

Knowing the truth is receiving real knowledge, ie truth comes before experience. Real Truth is NOT gained from experience but real experience gained from having real knowledge. For example: Jesus spoke truth by saying wait in Jerusalem until you receive power from on high. They obeyed the Word of Jesus and were filled with the Holy Spirit with sign s following.

Then Peter spoke the truth followed by thousands coming under conviction of sin. Jesus said signs would FOLLOW the preaching of the Word. The right way round is to learn truth, apply it to our lives (with the help of the Holy Spirit) and then genuine signs (experiences?) will follow those who believe in His Name.

By the way, I did a bible search on the word experience. There are only 2 references in the new testament. One says Israel has experienced a hardening in part, the other verse refers says that Enoch DID NOT experience death. No reference anywhere to a believer having "experiences" as such. Maybe because God does not want us to seek experiences but to seek Him.

It is true, however, that we as believers do experience blessings from God. The bible is full of the blessings we receive but none of them directly refer to "feelings" or "senses" which those who are into experiential Christianity rely upon so heavily.

Yes, we experience God's love, mercy, provisions, spiritual gifts, infilling of the Holy Spirit, fruit of the Spirit, boldness etc and power to live the Christian life as a true dedicated disciple of the Lord, but we experience these in order to serve Him and witness to the world. These "experiences" are not for us "bless me" orgies or indulge in self gratification of feelings or seeking first the blessing. We are to seek first God's kingdom (not the experiences) and then these other things will be added unto us.

To sum up: focussing on gaining a knowledge of the truth is VERY important because it is in gaining this that we can measure up whether an experience is from God or not or whether we should experience such things. We do not seek the experience. If we do seek the experience our "truth" will be dictated to by our experience rather than God's Word as the authority for truth.  Therefore "our truth" will lead us into deception.

Another article has been written which is a good supplement to this article please click on this shortcut link to read it  No Longer Under Law But Under Grace. Exposition  which shows that "grace" IS NOT elevating experience over  obedience to The Bible.

1 comment:

Wary-ish said...

Definite thumbs up!